I recently bought an iPod Touch. The WiFi integration is neat and worked straight out of the box. I now have a pocketable Internet browser, and it even connects directly to YouTube, using the new H.264 codec instead of YouTube’s default and inferior Flash codec that the PC-based website uses.

After playing a few videos something interesting happened. The video codec shows very crude artefacts. See the picture below. I haven’t found many other iPod users on the web complaining yet, but it’s hard to believe I am the only one. Will Apple be able to fix this with a firmware upgrade? If the rumoured Samsung chip at the heart of this device uses a hard-wired video coding subsystem, they likely won’t be able to fix the issue quickly in software. Instead, they will have to respin the chip and people will have to return their devices and get new ones months later. Chip inventory will have to be trashed. A reset fixed the issue for me, but it has shown up again.

Are you an SOC designer that still uses hard-wired video codecs? Can you risk designing an SOC that requires a silicon respin to resolve issues that could have been solved in software if a programmable approach had been chosen?